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Biogen Idec 1Q income rises on lower tax rate

WESTON, Mass. (AP) -- Biogen Idec Inc. said Thursday its net income climbed 41 percent in the first quarter on lower tax rates and improved sales of its multiple sclerosis drugs Tysabri and Avonex.

Biogen reported a one-time gain of $33 million related to a federal manufacturing deduction. That reduced the company's tax rate and added to its profit. The company raised its net income and sales targets for the full year.

Shares of Biogen Idec rose $7.62, or 3.7 percent, to $213.80 in premarket trading.

The company's net income grew $426.7 million, or $1.79 per share. The tax benefit added 16 cents per share to its profit. Excluding one-charges, the company said it earned $1.97 per share. A year ago Biogen earned $302.7 million, or $1.25 per share — or $1.40 per share excluding special items.

Revenue increased 10 percent to $1.42 billion from $1.29 billion.

Analysts expected income of $1.65 per share and $1.42 billion in revenue, according to FactSet.

First-quarter revenue from Avonex revenue grew 13 percent to $746 million, and Tysabri revenue grew 9 percent to $312 million. Sales of its cancer drug Rituxan fell 7 percent to $265 million because of a legal settlement paid by Biogen's partner Genentech.

The Food and Drug Administration approved a new Biogen multiple sclerosis drug, Tecfidera, on March 27. Biogen said the drug is now available around the U.S. but did not report sales. Tecfidera is a pill taken once per day, and analysts expect it to become a leading treatment for multiple sclerosis.

Biogen has marketed Tysabri through a partnership with Elan Corp. PLC, splitting profits on the drug. The companies have changed that arrangement, and Biogen has now taken full ownership of the drug under a deal that closed earlier this month. Biogen paid Elan $3.25 billion and will also pay royalties on sales.

For the full year, Biogen now expects to report adjusted income of $7.80 to $7.90 per share on revenue growth of 16 to 18 percent, which implies a total of $6.4 billion to $6.51 billion. The company had forecast income of $7.15 and $7.25 per share with revenue growth of about 10 percent, to about $6.07 billion.

Analysts project net income of $7.86 per share and revenue of $6.45 billion on average.

Shares of Biogen Idec closed at $206.18 on Wednesday. The stock reached an all-time high of $217.80 on Tuesday.